Friday, January 18, 2019

Aladdin Flashback



When I look back at my career at Disney, I remember that once in a while everything came together just about perfectly for an animated film I was a part of.
Aladdin is one of those films. It remains arguably the most beautiful looking film of my era.
I think everybody was in the right spot as far as casting. Directors, writers, animators, voice talents,
composer etc, everybody's work jelled and made for an amazing film.
Eric Goldberg took us to a new direction with his animation of the Genie. Fluid, simple and uncluttered. Stylized while still being commercial and accessible. His influence on the movie can't be overstated.
That being said, we did have our bumps in the road. After the first story screening, Jeffrey Katzenberg walked off remarking:"You can keep the title (of the film)."
The story got reworked, Aladdin's mother got the boot and certain songs were cut, because they didn't promote story or character.
As for myself, Jafar was a joy to design based on several artists' work. When it came to his color scheme I did argue though with our production designer's choices.
Still, it all came together in the end.

Above Ron and John behind Kent Melton's beautiful character maquettes.

Next up John Musker with Jafar's voice Jonathan Freeman and Aladdin's singing voice Brad Kane.





Jonathan with lyricist Tim Rice and composer Alan Menken.





A few scenes that represent my earliest animation on the film.
Iago by Will Finn, the Thief by Dan Hofstedt.







11 comments:

  1. If I may ask, what were the color alternatives you were discussing? I am really interested, especially since I can't imagine anything else but the now so iconic red and black …

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    1. On the 2004 DVD commentary he was talking about how they wanted Jafar's clothes to be all red, but Andreas insisted they put in some more black.

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    2. Then, Disney decided to make Jafar’s clothes all red for the direct-to-video movie, The Return of Jafar.

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  2. Thank you for posting this! A couple of questions I've never heard the answers to:
    Who came up with the final design for the lamp?
    Did you animate Jafar in his genie form?

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    1. I sadly don't know who animated Jafar in Genie form, but female animator, Kathy Zielinski, animated Jafar in Snake form, and Beggar form. If only someone who has the animator drafts knows.

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  3. I love Jafar's hand movements in every scene. When Jafar would interact with characters that Mark or Glenn animated, did y'all just send outlines to each other back and forth? Like when Jafar puts his hands on Jasmine's shoulders or grabs the genie?
    Aladdin is my favorite Disney movie of all time, so anything Aladdin related is a real treat.

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  4. Thanks for sharing some of these stories of you working on the film. I remember in the 2004 "Making of" Documentary, I think you said that you combined your design of Jafar with someone else's design. Is that true?

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    1. There were a few artists who did work on Jafar before I started.
      Jean Gillmore, Daan Jippes and John Musker.
      https://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-evolution-of-jafar.html

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  5. You haven't talked much on this blog about Dan Hofstedt. What do you think of his work overall? I've always thought he was very underrated.

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    1. Love Dan's work. Great caricaturist, great animator.

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  6. How did you feel about Jafar's design in Return of Jafar?

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